Author Archives: Damien Kingsbury

About Damien Kingsbury

Sri Lanka crisis deepens

Sri Lanka’s constitutional crisis has deepened, with a split between President Maithripala Sirisena and the man he has, allegedly illegally, appointed as Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa. This follows President Sirisena’s decision on Friday to call a snap election for 5 January, which appears to be in breach of the country’s constitution. The new elections are […]

Following mid-terms, Trump firms for 2020 elections

It may not have been the ‘tremendous success’ that President Donald Trump claimed for it, but the US mid-term elections have positioned him well to be returned as president in 2020. Having control of the House of Representatives go over to the Democrats might play in President Trump’s favor, rather than against it. It is […]

Sri Lanka’s coup

(First published today in While the world wasn’t watching, Sri Lanka has had a coup, which may or may not be constitutional. On Friday, the president replaced an elected prime minister with one who had been voted out of office on the back of war crimes allegations, human rights abuses and corruption allegations. Following […]

On Populism

Angela Merkel’s resignation as leader of Germany’s Chistian Democratic Union has signaled an end to her 13 year reign as Germany’s chancellor and de facto leader of the European Union. It has also marks a victory for Germany’s populist politics, effectively claiming the scalp of its biggest prize yet. Germany’s far right populist Alternative for […]

Why Western bluster over Khashoggi will go nowhere

Published in today: US President Donald Trump has led global anger over the presumed murder of Saudi Arabian, US resident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Istanbul Saudi consulate by threatening sanctions. The Saudis have replied they will retaliate more strongly. But, as with so much of President Trump’s bluster, it is unclear how much […]

The two Koreas could find peace

Symbolism is about conveying emotive meaning. So, when  North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in stood at the peak of the locally venerated Paektu Mountain in North Korea, near the Chinese border, and held their raised hands together, the symbolism was powerful; the two Koreas could, and would, work together. The gesture, at […]

Rough seas ahead for the Pacific Islands Forum (published in

The Pacific Ocean may have been named for its peaceful winds, but this year’s 18 nation Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) has been among the most combative in its five-decade history. At issue was a confluence of sharply competing interests, with China’s growing role at the centre of them. China’s delegation stormed out of the meeting […]

PM’s visit just one small part of Australia-Indonesia relations

The visit to Indonesia by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, within days of taking office, has been widely hailed as a success, with the signing of an effective free trade agreement and a further tilt towards a closer strategic relationship. The five point agreement visit was said to ‘add ballast’ to the bilateral relationship, reprising […]

Politics in turmoil

Most Australians are right now fairly exasperated with what they reasonably regard as the infantile, ego-driven behavior of their political leaders. But, in many respects, what is happening is not confined to Australia and is, at base, a product of a shared set of political problems. In the United States, the election of President Donald […]

Proposed Afghanistan ceasefire a sign of a government in trouble

Afghanistan President, Ashraf Ghani’s proposed month-long ceasefire with the country’s Taliban insurgents to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha is looking like an act of desperation. Regardless of whether it is taken up, or not, the proposed ceasefire is a sign of a government in trouble and grasping at straws. The proposed ceasefire follows […]